Many people nowadays believe that by simply reading a book of quotes from Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, or Bill Gates they’ll master the world of technology or business. With a myriad of publications and products that promise success overnight, young and novice entrepreneurs are often misled that success in business is something that can be easily learnt. Are they in for a huge disappointment, or a whirl of success?
Succeeding in business is usually the result of a good idea, hard work, right choices, and a bit of luck. There are many articles out there that promise to teach you what to do in order to climb the staircase of success. In this article, we’ll cover some of the things you shouldn’t do if you are an aspiring entrepreneur.
#1. Have you done your homework?
In most cases, young entrepreneurs embark on a new business venture just because they think they have a brilliant business idea. But, have they researched the market properly? Consulted their friends, family or, some experts on the topic?
Without knowing the size and the potential of the market, you cannot successfully run a business. Do your research before you invest all your life savings into your new business idea. It may save you a lot of time, nerves, and plenty of money down the road.
#2. Zero to success in 30 days
What makes a huge difference between a realistic entrepreneur and a failed one are their expectations. As mentioned earlier, there are many programs and publications that promise success in 30 days or a couple of weeks, which will NOT happen. All those that blindly believe in such theories are in for a huge disappointment. Even if everything aligns perfectly the way you want it, it will take a tremendous amount of work, time and patience to succeed in any industry niche. It’s a fact. Deal with it.
#3. Do you have a secret formula?
Some people believe that products advertised as revolutionary ones will get them money and success without any effort. While some gadgets and tools can indeed help along the way, especially if you are in online business, there’s no secret tool that will do all the work for you. Even with the greatest idea, hard work will have to be put into the formula to get you to the path of success.
#4. Are you having a hard time accepting criticisms?
One of the key factors in improving your product or service is listening to your customer feedback and complaints. Remember: there’s no improvement without actually listening to those who used your product or service and have something to say on what needs to be improved. If you’re having a hard time hearing some criticism, the chances are pretty high you’ll never know how to improve anything.
#5. Do you think you’ll succeed just because you love what you do?
While loving what you do is a significant bonus in business, it is certainly not the only thing that will get you to your goal. Often times, people start some specific business just because they love the end product, or a certain aspect of it. The reality is that in growing a business, there are many other things you’ll have to pay attention to. Sometimes those other things may take so much of your attention that you won’t even have enough time to work on what you love. This may bring you back to square one. You need to realize on time that running a business requires a lot of other things that you may not like doing that much.
#6. Short term vs. long term plans
Many novice entrepreneurs set themselves up for a failure by not planning in the long run. Sometimes it’s just easier to make plans day by day, and chase short-term goals as they matter the most. While such an approach may bring some short-term cash into your register or pocket, in the long run you may be just wasting your time. Every decision and plan should be aligned with your long-term strategy. That’s the only way to succeed over a long period of time.
#7. Are you paying attention to your competitors?
Boosting your confidence from time to time by telling yourself that you are better than your competitors may get you out of bed on certain days. However, we all know that’s not a realistic approach. One must constantly track competition and learn day to day about the market and industry. In order to succeed in business, you need to have a competitive advantage. In the words of Jack Welch, a legendary CEO, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.”
#8. Are you one of those that want to do everything on your own?
While you probably have an admiring set of skills and will to work, it is a bad decision to try to accomplish everything on your own. Knowing when and how to properly delegate certain tasks and assignments is one of the best skills of a successful entrepreneur. The ability to organize your employees to successfully handle business even when you are not there may be one of your greatest achievements. On the other hand, if you attempt to micromanage and do everything on your own, sooner or later, you will be prevented from hitting it big.
#9. Do you hire employees on an impulse?
In order to work with someone on a daily basis, you have to like that person. Does that mean that you have to hire the first person you liked, even though his or her skills are quite questionable? The problem gets even more serious if you are one of those managers who’s having a hard time firing your employees. Therefore, get rid of these habits as soon as possible as they may be a ticket for failure.
As with everything else in life, it’s the habits and actions that we take that differentiate a successful entrepreneur from an unsuccessful one. A realistic self-assessment and following the above suggested guidelines will ensure you are taking the right steps to succeed.
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